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Archive for September, 2017

Yes, I know that’s a different war.

The progress on the script continues. I’ve now gone through with a new edit, using my red pen (get the title now?) to make edits and to mark where the script needs to be either rewritten or relocated.

It’s still a work in progres. But we’re closer to the mark, and the proofreading marks.

The goal is to have this next round of edits completed by mid-October with a final, presentable draft coming sometime in November.

 

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My script, Clean Dry Socks: Diary of a Doughboy, continues to be a work in progress. As I’ve mentioned, it’s in the editing stages now.

But to get to his point I found that I had to read and research much more than what my grandfather had written in his diary, and what my aunt had provided in commentary.

So, for weeks, perhaps months, I read more about World War I. I searched the Internet. I listened to podcasts.

And then it really hit me that I didn’t need to “study war no more…”

The story I’m telling is that of one American soldier, not the entire U.S. military or England and France.

I’m telling one story, and the tendency is to want to put in all of the details, all of the history.

But, then I wonder how much an audience really needs to be told about the horrors of war. That’s almost a given. Almost.

What’s not a given is how that war affected the average soldier far away from home.

That’s the story I’m telling.

This blog is the story of that story. There’s work to be done.

After all, it’s a long way to Tipperary.

 

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My script, Clean Dry Socks:  Diary of a Doughboy, had its first public reading last night before the Richmond Playwrights’ Forum.

I am grateful for the opportunity to present my work, and am particularly grateful for the six actors who took an evening of their time and shared their talents.  I also appreciate the words of encouragement and instruction from the members of the Forum.

This has been a long time coming, and I’m excited about the prospects for the future.

As for last night’s experience, well, it was actually pretty good.

I mean, no one stepped up and said here’s a million dollars, let’s put this on the stage.  But the comments were supportive, and encouraging and gave me some new direction as well as solutions to some of the problems.

It remains a work in progress, and I have work to do.

But today, I’m a little farther down the road, a little closer to the stage.

And, that’s a good thing.

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worldwar1a

It’s been over eight months since last I posted here. I had high hopes and fancy plans to keep this going, along with my regular home on the web at The Write Side of My Brain. But schedules change, and plans change.

So, today I’m back and we’re taking this blog in a different direction. I’ll still talk occasionally about meetings and events, but for now, we’re looking at history, specifically World War I history.

I plan to be here every Tuesday to talk to you about the development of, and the promtion of my stage play.

See, I’ve written a script entitled: Clean Dry Socks: Diary of a Doughboy.

It’s a stage play based on the diary of my grandfather from World War I. The first public reading is this coming Monday with the Richmond Playwright’s Forum.

Here’s how the script came to be.

I’ve had a copy of the diary for years. The version I have was transcribed by my aunt, who also provided commentary and history. The original diary is now at the Library of Congress as part of the Veteran’s History Project.

In addition to writing, I also spend some time on the stage. About two years ago, I was again participating in A Night at the Quartermaster Museum, at Fort Lee, Virginia. I’ve done this annually for the last four years and will be there again in November.

Two years ago I portrayed a World War I era doctor. The nurse and I talked to the students about the hazards of trench foot and prevention methods which include…you guess it…Clean Dry Socks. I remembered my grandfather’s diary at that point.

But things started to gel the next day when I attended the first performance in the newly restored Beacon Theatre at City Point in Hopewell, Virginia. The program was a series of letters written during the Civil War era.

I was inspired to go home and pull out my grandfather’s diary where I learned, or remembered, that he had trained at what was then Camp Lee, then marched to City Point in Hopewell where he and the 80t Blue Ridge Division departed for France.

It was then that I knew that I had to take this story to the stage.

So, the script has been written, and re-written, and will soon be read in public for the first time.

Is it ready? The reading will tell.

But it’s closer, and it’s on its way the stage.

Stay tuned. I’ll let you know how the reading goes.

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